View Full Version : reduced to the status of a bum up north

13th March 2010, 04:26 PM
I've had such an adventure!

For those of you who missed my last post, I went up to Durham (which is 250 miles from Mid Wales...) yesterday to look at a Standardbred for sale. I've been thinking about buying one for a long time and was just really waiting for the cash, the right horse and the go ahead from the parents.

Saw this lad advertised online and he has breeding to DIE for.

He was very reasonably priced and I couldn't stop thinking about him.

Rang up about him and liked what I heard but the line was terrible and I couldn't understand much of what the owner was saying. He sent me some pictures but they were awful. Still couldn't stop thinking about him. I NEEDED to know why he was cheap!

By some miracle my parents agreed I could buy another. I explained I'm a trotting addict, and pointed out that it's better than being addicted to shopping or drugs, and they caved in :evilgrin::evilgrin:

So off I went, with my feral friend/assistant trainer and of course Terry the dog.

And the horse is lovely!!

He's big, around 16hh. He's not the most beautiful animal in the world but that doesn't bother me, he's not ugly either. He seems to have a lovely temperament. He's only 5 and hasn't done anything much for 18 months as far as I can tell, but he's exceptionally quiet and laid back.

My feral friend and I pooled our limited knowledge of conformation (and we also swotted up on conformation and racehorse selection on the way there from the trotting bible!) and examined him from head to toe. From what we can tell, he is good enough. But I will get him vetted anyway because this really isn't my forte. The only things we could find wrong with him are that his neck is a bit short for his body (does this matter?) and his hind legs are a bit straight (how much does this matter?). Pretty much everything else about him we liked. His feet are particularly good, I think, he has plenty of room for heart and lungs, and a nice strong bum.

Bear in mind that buying a trotter is completely different to buying a riding horse. Buyers of trotters rarely expect to see it being handled, they just look at the conformation and the racing potential because they don't care about manners if the thing runs fast. So the seller was quite surprised when I asked him to tack the horse up, but he did it without any complaints and the horse wasn't bothered in the slightest. Seller told me he's broken to ride (wasn't expecting that!) so I hopped on his back. I didn't go anywhere because I didn't have a helmet but he was fine with that.

*gotta run now, more later!!!*

sorry to leave you in the lurch!

13th March 2010, 04:29 PM
I was wondering how you got on! Glad you didn't go all that way for nothing, he sounds like he's lovely. When are you getting him vetted? Oooo excited for you!

13th March 2010, 04:32 PM
Oooh does this mean the vetting is going along on Wednesday then?
Can't wait to hear the rest!

Horse Mad Mum
13th March 2010, 05:01 PM
Liz, come back here this minute and fill us in ..................you cant just leave us hanging .......so inconsiderate !!! HMM X

My Crazy Clan
13th March 2010, 06:04 PM
OoOOOo sounds great, did you get photos?

13th March 2010, 06:54 PM
Oooh Liz thats fab, so excited! Can we have more pics of this one please?? The last one you got just seemed to disappear, infact I can't even remember his name!

13th March 2010, 06:55 PM
Sorry sorry sorry to leave you all in suspense!

My long lost cat appeared after I had decided he was dead so I had to run after him with a sausage, and then I got sidetracked.

So anyway, after sitting on the boy I asked to see him moving and the seller put him in the horse walker. This is what sold him to me. His eyes lit up for the first time (for a HORSEWALKER of all things!), he went straight in and immediately got to work. He obviously enjoyed it and wanted to go faster, but was completely calm and sensible at the same time. His movement seemed really nice and relaxed and effortless.

After that I decided to have him IF he passes the vet.

Unfortunately, I now realise, I shouldn't have told the seller this until we'd talked about money so I failed to haggle on the price (which was cheap anyway so it doesn't really matter), but he will deliver him part of the way.

I have also worked out why he's cheap:
1) there is very little trotting up there. His nearest track is 50 miles then nothing for 200 miles!! So not very many people in the area would be interested in buying him. Also when you have to travel so far to race you really need a top class horse to race for big money against the professionally trained horses. He's not quite of that calibre, probably, but that doesn't mean he can't do really well racing with the amateur bunch of vagabonds Vinny and I race with.
2) He did not winter very well. Nothing that a bit of time and food won't sort out, but it means he probably won't be able to race until June/July. This doesn't bother me at all.

Fingers very tightly crossed for the vetting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and last night I stayed in Hotel Vinny :D:D:D:D:D

I couldn't find the tent so I borrowed his best rug :ashamed:

We went up onto the North Yorkshire Moors, lit a fire and had a cup of tea, then some drunks pretending to be keepers came along and told us not to light a fire up there (even though it had been raining all afternoon so no bracken was going to catch fire!!) and told us to put it out. We left soon afterwards because although they obviously weren't keepers we didn't want them to turn up with all their friends, drunk, at some ungodly hour!

After that we found a wood attached to some country estate, and kipped in there.

It was LOVELY to sleep under the stars!! I had the dog in my sleeping bag so was very warm. And luckily it had stopped raining by about 10. But in the morning the water in the kettle had frozen.

It's been a good adventure so even if he fails the vetting I still had fun and would certainly not regret my trip!

Also, if I want to keep up this racing game, I should probably get used to roughing it...

13th March 2010, 06:58 PM
Loony, yes I lost heart a bit with Jake after the farrier said he was no good. Also I was working like a slave all winter, but managed to back him when I got snowed in. He went home on Wednesday and it was sad but I never let myself get attached to him.

If I end up getting Hasty there will be plenty of photos, don't worry.. Mind you at the moment he looks pretty terrible!

I got some photos but I can't find my lead for the camera, and they weren't very good. Will try and upload them!

13th March 2010, 07:05 PM
Kept having a sneak to see if you updated about viewing , i had a feeling youd buy him !Like your get up and go and live for the moment ,ive never knew a standy with bad feet ,or a nasty tempered one i hope he passes the vet, there hardy animals !And thats good meeting you half way you are really happy ,i look forward to seeing pics next week end to see what he looks like properly please , itll be good to see pix in training and see how yous get along :D

13th March 2010, 07:25 PM
Couldn't let him give me the slip, GallopingGelding!

I HAD to go and see him.

Funnily enough, yesterday morning just before I left I bumped into my hero in town, who is always champion driver with the amateur trotting band of vagabonds that I race with. The only person who managed to beat Vinny in his last, glorious race. I picked his brains thoroughly, but had to be EXTREMELY careful not to tell him where I was off to. He trains a half sister to Hasty, and I know he likes this family as much as I do. Thank god he doesn't have an internet connection and therefore won't have seen the advert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I did stupidly mention that I'd seen a member of this family for sale, and his ears pricked instantly. So I told him it was an old advert, it was in Durham, and the asking price was 3k (instead of 1500). I just hope it's enough to put him off....

He did also tell me that 1500 is a reasonable price for a ready-to-go racehorse these days, so that's reassuring. I did wonder if he was suspiciously cheap, but the economy has changed since the last time I was 100% clued up about the market.

13th March 2010, 07:41 PM
lol....i dunno,camping in woods....lol...look forward to seeing pictures and glad ur kitty turned up, my went for a ride with asda and i did'nt know that as asda are useless and luckily the greedy cow turned up at someones house begging for food! and they had a guilt trip and reported finding her to cats protection

13th March 2010, 07:45 PM
Yay how exciting! Fingers crossed he passes the vetting x

13th March 2010, 11:19 PM
Ooo that's fab, fingers crossed for the vetting!

14th March 2010, 12:15 PM
Eek have you got the pix off your phone yet so we can have a look he sounds wonderful and we all knew you woul d buy him!Aye you cant trust anyone when you say you found a good horse your going to buy ,good for you ,looking for ward to seeing him under saddle and driving :D

Horse Mad Mum
14th March 2010, 10:26 PM
how exciting Liz cant wait to see pics !!! HMM X

14th March 2010, 10:53 PM
how exciting ...........cant wait to here more .....

15th March 2010, 11:19 AM
Sounds exciting, everything crossed for the vetting x

15th March 2010, 11:39 AM
I am SO excited and nervous! I don't think anybody has been able to get any sense out of me for days...

I have a friend and her new boyfriend staying who I picked up on my way back from Durham (when I was at my most crazed, and clad in the usual filthy boiler suit) and they were laughing at me for most of the day. They're Cambridge students and while my friend is pretty used to me, her boyfriend seems quite shell shocked by the whole experience (not just me but the isolation, the cold, my feral friend driving off road...).